Day 2 in the life of an at-large delegate to the DNC: Morgan A. Johnson shares moments from the inside
This week from Philadelphia, demVoices is bringing our followers a view of the Democratic National Convention through the eyes of one of Ohio’s at-large delegates, Morgan A. Johnson. We will be sharing posts from Morgan throughout the week, so stay tuned in on our social media! (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). You can also follow Morgan on Twitter @MAJ_OSU.
Read: Day 1 post
Greetings from Day Two of the Democratic National Convention.
Hello, demVoices readers!
Wow. So many feelings. If you read my last entry, you would know I am at the DNC as a delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders. For any Bernie backers like me, day one was tough.
At the beginning of the day, following 5 hours of sleep, we started out with a breakfast at 7AM. That’s earlier than any of my college classes! But, this is the convention, and that’s how we do things.
Guess who I ran into on my way to breakfast…? None other than the notorious, celeb Democrat, former mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer! I hesitantly asked to have my photo taken with him, saying I was terrible for asking. (It’s easy to get starstruck at the convention!) He said, ‘of course you aren’t terrible!’ How. Cool.
Day 2, Monday, we left the hotel via bus ride to the Philadelphia. It was HOT. We rushed to our air conditioned shuttles, then to the convention hall to participate in meetings with Bernie platform leaders on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and with Sanders surrogates and leaders. This is the meeting I’m sure you’ve heard about if you’ve been following convention news. When Sanders noted that we need to elect Hillary, some members of the room booed. I can’t deny, this did happen.
At the end of Bernie’s difficult speech with a difficult crowd reaction, we moved on to the Wells Fargo Center, where we would step onto the floor of the DNC for the first time. On our way, in the hallways, we were so pleased to see that all the restrooms at the center were gender neutral. We went to the restroom as a group, enjoying this small but meaningful victory towards everyday social equity for all people.
The floor was packed. The stage and the hall are beautiful and, of course, in shades of blue. I vaguely thought about how significant party colors are, and how they matched what their respective groups’ messages are in 2016. Blue is a calming color, and this convention was meant to surround voters (and delegates) with a direct yet clear commitment to providing a calm, stable alternative to the more ignited discussions that the RNC provided last week via Donald Trump.
Many notable folks took the stage on Monday night. Ruby, a 93-year-old delegate from Ohio who’s attending her 8th convention, led the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a proud moment for all of us. And that moment was one of the little reminders that we needed to bridge the gaps between delegations, states, ranks, and backgrounds. It reassured us that our journey in public service could be a rewarding, full-circle experience, and that we could have the same passion for the process when we reach 93, just as Ruby has today for her role and her candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Partway through the day, I was fortunate to run into my friend and fellow delegate, Councilwoman Tara Moseley Samples from Akron, who was with former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner. Both ladies are members of our delegation. They directed me to join them, which was humbling, as I have engaged with 1000’s of young progressives for whom Nina is a personal hero. We stood in the hall outside the convention floor, and sure enough, we were approached by groups of supporters.
— Vice Chair,Rep Bowen (@DavidFBowen) July 26, 2016
I spoke with a young man from Cincinnati and we discussed the heart of the movement we’re a part of. I met a group of delegates from Arizona who were in tears at the sight of Nina, one of their idols in the fight for immigration justice. I met a group of older delegates who said that Bernie re-ignited a passion that they haven’t felt for a presidential candidate since Bobby Kennedy. Standing next to a hero of the progressive movement, and hearing so many people’s stories, gave me a small glimpse into Nina’s world. Hers is a world where you cannot just be a dreamer with a new vision for the future of America. It’s a world where you also have to be a lighthouse, standing tall for others, helping them find their way through the storm.
— Jeremy Pelzer (@jpelzer) July 25, 2016
With that, myself and other youth delegates boarded the busses back to our hotel, skipping the evening cocktail hours because we were tired and a little shaken up from a tough day, and we went to sleep.
Catch ya in my Tuesday recap, demVoices readers. Until then,